Construction is expected to be finished in 2018 and it would be operational in 2019."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Expansion of the Rokot airport on the island of Mentawai off West Sumatra is to be completed in 2019 to accommodate wide bodied aircraft.

West Sumatra Vice Governor Nasrul Abit said the Rokot airport which has been in operation since 1980 is being expanded and modernized.

The expansion of the airport is important for tourism development in the Mentawai island district, Nasrul said here on Tuesday.

"Construction is expected to be finished in 2018 and it would be operational in 2019," he said.

Currently the project is still in the process of land clearing and preparation of analysis on environmental impact (Amdal), he said.

Regent of Mentawai islands Yudas Sabaggalet said the district administration is set to finish the construction of the airport as scheduled to facilitate tourist transport to that district.

Yudas said the district administration is also building Trans Mentawai roads in four major islands in Mentawai including Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan.

The roads are 170 kilometers on the island of Siberut, 105 kilometers on the island of Sipora, 110 kilometers on the island of Pagai Utara and 85 kilometers on the island of Pagai Selatan.

The fund for the road construction is partly from the state budget and the rest from the regional budget, Yudas said.

In addition, the district administration would build power generating plants under the program of Mentawai Terang (Bright Mentawai) and develop internet service facility in cooperation with the state telecommunication company PT Telkom.

"All the facilities are expected to bring greater modernity to the islands and improve the welfare of the people," Yudas said.

A Mentawai Wonder Festival 2016 would be held at the Mapadegat beach in the sub-district of Sipora Utara to promote the culture of Mentawai to attract more tourist to the island.

The festival will be held from April 19 to 24 highlighted with international surfing competition which is expected to draw 64 surfers from Australia, the United States, South Africa , Japan, Republic of Fiji and the Philippines.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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